Sunday, December 16, 2012

Taking a break to update

     I am taking a break from the "gotta get that tree up" whirlwind of clutter shuffle. It's time to blog something. Unfortunately, I'm lacking anything of substance to share. No recent "light bulb" moments, unless you count me shattering one when I tried to change it. Nothing radical is happening, unless trying to get 3 males to get the downstairs ready to accept the Christmas tree is radical. Ok, that is pretty radical. I am committed to making letting them help this year. No tree up until they make the hole for it. It is likely going to be a long afternoon. They are currently huddled around Chris's laptop watching youtube of a videogame. Yep, a long afternoon.
       I also recently facebooked that I am suspicious of the weather, but hopeful for the promised cooling. Then I realized that Suspicious, but Hopeful is my natural state of being. I usually am suspicious (ie, cautious, not betting on it, believe it when I see it) of anything predicted for the near future. But I am also hopeful that it will happen. I think I need that in a shirt.... "Suspicious, but Hopeful" (a V-necked T with ladies cut, sizes XXL if you are shopping for me).
    Alright, time to get back to the laundry, and remind the boys that they still have stuff to do if they want a tree this year.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Random thoughts

* I love the music from the video game Epic Mickey. I could just listen to it nonstop. Maybe it should be part of my life's soundtrack.

* It is so sweet to hear the preteen I-hate-to-reader say "Mom, you were right. That was a great book!" after weeks of fighting about it. And I didn't even say "I told you so".

*I need a new office chair.

*I only have 3 more major projects to turn in before the semester is over.

*I teach some great kids.

*Sharing my favorite read aloud with students who are interested is one of my favorite things to do as a classroom teacher.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Parenting Mistakes

We've all made them. If  you have children, you have made parenting mistakes. If you are an aunty, uncle-y, or fairy godsister, you, too, have made mistakes. Maybe nothing as drastic as dropping the dog bone on the baby or screaming "I'm gonna pinch your head off the next time you... oh, hello Officer in line behind me." Here is what I will confess to... for now....

1. Introducing my children to chicken nuggets. I'm sure I have killed all sense of taste in those precious little buds for eternity.
2. Not requiring daily reading. As a teacher, I cry like a toddler missing their Momma because my kids don't enjoy reading. I'm sure it's because I was too tired to read to them as young uns after I got home from reading to everyone else's kids.
3. Establishing firm bedtimes. It made for a nice schedule for a while, but heaven help us all if I have to change the schedule now, because one will make a federal case out of it and require 2 hours of litigation to approve the change and the other will go along with it and completely forget we ever had a different schedule.
4. Encouraging talking. Mistake? Oh yeah! I have the most verbal children on the planet. They use words like they are going out of style. Talk to someone, sure! Talk to themselves.. out loud, in public, Uh-huh. In their sleep? yep. And the noises they make! I know that boys make noise, that's why those words rhyme, but mine are a bit extreme.
5. Teaching them how to use the TV remote. Independence is a goal, but somethings should require parental assistance. Just because you CAN change the channel, doesn't mean you should.
6. Microwave popcorn. Yes they can make it themselves, but it should not be the only thing they eat!
7. Expressing their opinion. I used to think that kids should be able to respectfully share their opinions. I now have a preteen and am aghast at my ignorance. Apparently I "just don't understand" anything. That's what he tells me, anyway.
8. Introducing my children to Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. It seemed ok at the time. No more need be said.
9. Answering questions. Now they ask them all the time. Sometimes they are funny. Sometimes they are embarrassing. And sometimes they are just hard. Some say curiosity is a sign of intelligence. I think curiosity is just a sign of boredom.

So that's what I've got for now. I guess we could call this episode 1. Have a great week!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Post Thanksgiving thanks

I don't know about you, but I am feeling pretty turkey drunk and happy this Friday after Thanksgiving. Maybe I just feel the coffee buzz from an extra cuppa joe this morning. Either way, I am feeling exceptionally thankful this quiet morning.

I am thankful for sleeping in.
I am thankful for In-laws who let the children spend the night.
I am thankful for the ability to go back and get my Master's degree.
I am thankful for almost finishing my first semester back in school.
I am thankful for being able to teach GT students.
I am thankful for 4500 views of my blog (yay Spambots!)
I am thankful for that neighbor who is using a leaf blower before 10 am.
I am thankful for technology that allows me to do so many things.
I am thankful for brain candy books that are just fun.
I am thankful for The Good Book, that is the opposite of candy. It is the full course meal of reading.
I am thankful for the invention of toothpaste and toothbrushes.
I am thankful for my old, crochety dog who still gives me those puppy eyes that got him sprung from the pound all those years ago.
I am thankful for my family.
I am thankful for so many other trivial things.

Perhaps I should get dressed and get to the rest of the day.. hmmm.. or maybe just a little more cyber stalking..

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pretty pictures

I had the blessed opportunity to go to the Internations Quilt Festival in Houston recently. It was blessed because I got to drive my mother and my mother in law. Personally, I have never made a quilt. I can barely sew a button on. But I got to see some amazing pieces of art that were a testimony of God's committment to creativity.

Without further ado..

Here it is up close...
The more you look, the more you see!

I took the following detail shots because the whole quilt was just too intricate to believe, and then forgot to get a big shot of the entire quilt. Rookie FAIL!

I just love the happy colors of this one.

For my angry days....

Easily the most intricate quilt I saw. So interesting and full of personality.

The most traditionally beautiful quilt I got a shot of.
I love all the images in this one.

My nod to monochromatic beauty.

I just love all the letters and words! (This is what I think my mind looks like most days!)

As you can see, WOW!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sneak attack!

[pokes my head in and looks around.. notices dead crickets who chirped too long, dust bunnies in riot gear, and tumbleweeds careening around the furniture. Somewhat post apocolyptic and certainly desolate, I realize this is my mind.. kind of..]

This is the state of my blog room. It has been way too long since I posted anything worthwhile. It feels like I use all my personal resources and wit at work and on my classwork. My poor family. The house is starting to resemble the blog room. I get to go see Skyfall with the hubby this afternoon. Yay! Some time away together! We don't do this nearly often enough.

I am hopeful that in the next 3 weeks or so, I will finish the bulk of this semester's classwork and I can attempt to figure out how to better manage life next semester. 1 or 2 classes?? That is the question. 2 about kicked my butt this semester. I know I haven't been able to be my happy self enough. But if we can make a few changes, it might work. And I'm used to is now. I just don't like it.

Is it worth it? Yep. I think so. I am ready to get out of the classroom experience and find another field to serve in. Since we are not able to teach the way we want any more, and documentation and special interests trump the overall learning process of the majority, I'm on my way to done in a full on sprint.

And I'm sad. Some good friends are retiring. Mentors and ladies that make my job much more pleasant. Teachers who I can turn to for inspiration when I don't know what to do or when I need a cheering up. I will miss them. They are amazing friends and mentors and peers. There is a grief in realizing I am now one of the "old ones" on campus. 15 years doesn't seem long enough to reach that position, but I suppose that's the new way of it.

I am in search of joy right now. I know where to find it. I must start reading the Bible regularly. The last month has been horrible and I know that the lack of good spiritual nourishment is withering my spirit. So, I think I'll go do that right now. Revival is imminent! In my heart at the least!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Happy birthday!

Has it really been that long? 12 whole years??

How you have changed, my sweet boy. But in some ways you are just the same as you have always been.

You are much taller, but that was expected.
"That baby has one of the longest femurs I've seen in a sonogram" said my OB/GYN at his second sonogram.

You love to run and go to running club at 7 am every Wednesday morning, but you always liked to stretch your legs.
"Stop pushing on my rib cage!" I said one morning in church when you getting too big for my tummy.

You are funny and thoughtful, but you've been talking since before you could walk.
"Is it normal for a 1 year old to talk in complete sentences?" I asked the pediatrician.

You are a good friend to others, but you have always valued friendship.
"Clay is my best buddy, Mommy," you told me after church when you were 3.
"Make room for Little Clay. He needs to be belted in, " you announced after Clay moved and we didn't see him any more. You just created an imaginary friend until you could see him again.

As I watch you stand at the edge of  the teen years, I wonder if you will be as afraid of that jump as you are of heights. I wonder if you will remember all that you have been taught about the important things when you have to make the choices yourself. I wonder if you will become an entirely different being, or if you will retain what makes you so special.

I am encouraged by the fact that The One who made you protects you and will guide your steps if you will listen. I am encouraged by the knowledge that you have the Holy Spirit to show you the right choices and convict you when you've made the wrong ones. That knowlege makes facing the coming years exciting instead of terrifying. Ok, it's a little terrifying, too.

Thoughtful, determined, cautious, focused, caring, intelligent, witty. You are my first born and you have not only survived, but thrived! I am proud of you in every way.

Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The morning

We left the house early today to take one child to Running Club. Yep, they get to school an hour and a half early to run about 2 miles.. for fun.. Yes, I am sure he is my child. No, I don't know why he wants to do that.

Then I drove straight to Shipley's to get the other one a donut for breakfast. Yes, I see the imbalance. But no, today I don't really care. Some days a filled bar with no nuts is just what it takes to get the day rolling.

Oh, And I neither ran, nor ate donuts. I figure I am as neutral as I can be.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

What?? No drama??

It has been a wonderful weekend. Nothing special, just a nice, relaxing weekend. Laughs, family working together, no drama, these are the things I enjoy. This week, I am hopeful for more of the same. This year is moving quickly and I can hardly believe that the end of October is upon us. Before I blink I know that Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here. I guess I should get the plastic Easter eggs out of the decorative vase. And the Mother's Day cards off the mantel. And the summer pool schedule off the fridge.  Maybe. Although, if I work it right, I might have something of every holiday up around the house and I'd never have to remember to decorate! We'll have to wait and see.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Too long!

Ok, here is the short version of life for the last few weeks:
Get up, go to school, teacher/do paper work, chat with coworkers, teach/more paperwork, head home to cook dinner/buy burgers, read kid books/do my homework, check facebook, play facebook scrabble, do more homework/read boring textbook, hug my kids and send them to bed, look my husband in the eyes and say "Man, am I tired".

Throughout I have moments of shotgun questioning as I drive the boys home, time where I load the dishwasher or throw very specific items into clothes washer so people aren't naked, go to the Walmart so we don't starve, and watch a little TV. I have cleaned up the floor and stairs multiple times where the dog has taken to peeing if not attended to immediately. Oh, and my firstborn turns twelve soon. My youngest has a very forward girl making brash advances at school. And the love of my life has a birthday next week. I feel like I need to start Christmas shopping soon. And really need to pay some bills.

No time to be poetic or thoughtful. Maybe one day...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Thoughts on Puberty

11 almost 12 year old boys are a whole new species. They smell funny. They act weird. Almost everything they have learned since birth about authority is magically deleted from their conscious being. Even the younger brothers notice ("Mom, I don't think I'm going to make it through his puberty time" lamented #2 with a sigh recently).

These beings vascillate nonsensically between childhood and teendom. One moment they are trying to curl in your lap, the next they are looking at you with undisguised disgust because you dared to require they wear a collared shirt to church. Chores are a personal assault on their "fun time", even though it has been an established routine for years. And the food! Oh my! The pickiness mixed with volume makes grocery shopping a new level of Dante's Hell. "Since when don't you like peanut butter? You've always loved peanut butter." "But not now, Mom. I just don't like it. And those apples were, um, not good. And I really don't like the crusts on my bread." Mom stares uncomprehendingly. Who is this child?

I'm just on the tip of this stage of life and I hear the snickers of the moms who have gone before me. I know, it just gets "better". But I already miss my little boy. The one who smelled like lavender baby shampoo and put himself to bed early. I miss the innocent questions and creative discussions. I miss being able to trust him to tell the truth.

So I look into the coming years of The Battle. I am so glad Daddy is here to step in and teach him the things I no longer can.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Shot gun questions

Son #2 loves to shotgun questions at me on the way home for school. He is just asking what has popped into his mind recently, but sometimes the thought train can be a bit intense. Today's round of Shotgun Questions went like this:

Son: Hey Mom, do you remember when you told me where I drank milk from as a baby? (We had a discussion about 3 weeks ago about this, also on the way home from school)
Me: Yes, I do
Son:Well, I am scarred for life! So how does that work? I mean, do you still have milk in there now?
Me: No
Son: Whew, Good, because that would just ruin life for me. So you have to have a baby to have that. Got it. Why do women wear bras?
Me: Um, because we live in America. In other countries sometimes women don't.
Son: So why does Canada have so much snow?
At this point I am shellshocked from trying to keep up. And cannot figure out how he went from bras to Canada, but he proceeded to rant about the lack of REAL bacon in the great North and I had no more questions to answer.

Time spent in conversation: 35 seconds

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hey Mom, Why do we get dizzy?

What I wanted to say: Well, son, when Mommy has had a hard day, she drinks a little and that makes her dizzy.

What I really said: Oh there is fluid in your ears and when you spin it goes round and round which makes you dizzy.

Both answers are valid.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Feeling the Pressure

I'm feeling like I haven't had any good stories to tell lately. Between the Raccoon Chronicles and Scrambled School I just don't think I have the creative juices or brain power to share anything remotely blog worthy.

So to recap: We had a couple of raccoons decide to redo our siding on the house by the chimney. They thought it should be removed so they could party in our walls. After a few times of this, where they destroyed my sleep patterns, we have had them relocated. I am hoping none of their friends remember our address.

And school started, not just as a teacher, but as a student. So I spend my days teaching and my nights reading books and creating stuff with them. Some days I forget if I'm supposed to be a teacher or a student. And then this week we got to add another teacher to our team to reduce class size. Yay! Then our team leader's mother died. So now we are facilitating a classroom addition and room shift minus one. I'm feeling kind of scrambled.

So, sorry for the lack of family tales. I'll let you know when there are some good ones.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Plodding through the Prophets

I got it.. I finally got it.. kind of.. Alright, I'm just starting to get it.. but it's there.

I've been reading through the Bible with our church chronologically. And I have made it to Ezekiel. We have spent weeks reading about how God's people walked away from Him. Ran away from Him. Turned their backs on Him. I have read prophet after prophet share truth through dire circumstances. I have heard the heart of God for his people, His longing for them to trust him, obey him, and recognize that He has their best interests at heart.

And I have watched this stupid, proud, selfish people get absolutely decimated by world powers. I have read of the starving, plague infested, homeless reprobates and I have wept for the loss of their potential. All at their own doing in failing to return to their Father.

I am beginning to see the pain of loss when God's people are not obedient. And today I read a beautifully sad portion that flashed me forward to the Salvation that God eventually sends. And I finally began to have a wee tiny wisp of an idea of how thirsty God's people must have been for the Messiah to come and what that Messiah would mean to them. After centuries of domination and slavery and separation from their God, just a remnant was left to welcome God's gift of salvation. And I have started, in fact just begun, to understand more fully the specialness of Jesus and the reality of his power. And I also see just how amazing it is that I was included in His plan.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

My mind in running in circles. It goes like this:

I can't believe school starts Monday. Do the boys have all their supplies? Ryan doesn't have a lunchbox. Do they still use lunchboxes in 6th grade? Crap. I have to go to the grocery store. I don't even have food for lunch. And I don't know what I'm going to wear. Should I try to find a new outfit? Nah, too tired for clothes shopping. So tired. Mr. Sandman is working overtime. If I could just get a full night's rest, that would solve my problem. I can't believe school starts on Monday!

Repeat ad nauseum.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ode to Summertime

Summertime, you have come to an end, my friend.
We thought it could last forever, but no
It's time to get back to the "Big Show".

We had our good times, yep, we did.
36 hours on a bus, oh yeah!
Major house repairs, you bet!
Days at the Y watching kids swim and trying to keep my book from getting wet while I sweat? It seems only just a dream.
Maybe you recall a birthday in the car? Yes, dear Summer Friend, you were there.

You were there when we entered Disneyworld in the rain!
You were there when we waited for Disney Buses for 25 minutes and got to stand for 30 more because it was so full.
You were there when my boys fought Darth Vader and won! Yes you were!
You were there when the road disappeared in Gary, Texas.
You were there as we toured a deserted college in 98 degrees.
And you were there when it was all completed.

We have had a lot of fun, you and I.
So thanks for the memories.
Thanks for the joy!
I bid you farewell til next year dear friend.
May we meet again and have more grand adventures.
I'm off to THE JOB tomorrow. I will miss you dearly.
And some days I know, it will seem like it was all only a dream.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

It's going to be that kind of day!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I LOVE a Parade

Disney World was quite the trip. I could spend days trying to write down all the fun we had. But I won't subject you to all that. Today I will focus on parades. They are going out of fashion. No longer will people sit outside in the heat and sweat while they wait for people they don't know to drive by and wave at them. But at Disney, they do a darn fine parade. I've never considered myself a "parade lover", but they were some of my favorite parts of the Disney Week. A part that just I really appreciated.

The first parade I saw was in the Magic Kingdom. It was down Main Street and sort of snuck up on me. While the family was seeking out shade, I was pushing my son to the front of the pack to get an up close look at the spectacle that Disney produces so many times a day.
 I think it's the pulsing beat and all around happiness that drew me to the parades.
  Like a street party with my best interests at heart, sort of.

All the favorite characters with a soundtrack who are singing and dancing to make me happy.

And I really felt for the Castmates in costume with the temps topping 95 degrees with 99% humidity.

And the parades last a good long while, so it totally seems worth it to stay and enjoy.

 Disney's main goal (aside from leeching every possible dollar out of my wallet) is to make the visitor happy. I get that they are big corporate meanies who exist to make a buck. But they do it by catering to me. And my family. And they make Pinchpenny Me ok with paying for it. Because where else on earth can I have someone I don't know outrageously concerned about MY happiness?

Because the joy of Goofy giving me an air high-five (I missed it with the camera) is worth it, too.

 And Jessie is so much better life sized.

The next parade that made me squeal was the Electric Light Parade. Notoriously hard to photograph, especially when the camera batteries die from much use, this parade was magic for me. The boys were not so impressed, but I was in Glee-Land.

Dancing pixies, flashy,shiny floats, all were like magic from my childhood.

Cinerella waved at me and Alice from Wonderland wished me a very happy Unbirthday! What more is there to love??

Snow White's Dwarf friends were working overtime and added so much fun to the parade.

Pete and Eliot were super fun and got a roaring applause. Pete was talking and interacting with the crowd. And the group of about a hundred Brazilian teens loved being recognized.

And though the picture doesn't do it justice, the night view of Cinderella's Castle lit up was a view I wish I could have often.

So, maybe the simple joy of a parade will come back one day. But until then, Disney knows how to make us wish it would happen sooner rather than later!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tru dat

Tru Dat = dumb saying asserting that a previous statement is absolutely accurate

**Took the GRE today and finished with respectable scores. I must thank my dad for being such a wordsmith. My raising with words like mealy-mouthed, erudite, and astute served me well. I also got to read several really interesting articles. One was on Souththern Unionists during the Civil War. Another was on the purpose of the fascination with Jane Austen. GRE testing company, thanks for interesting articles to analyze. It makes long hard tests easier to endure. Tru Dat!

** Today's rain produces exactly ZERO leakage from our new roof! So glad it works. Tru Dat!

** I am dreading the cleaning of the downstairs that must happen today and tomorrow. With the sheetrocker/painter coming  Thursday, it must be done. Where do I put all this stuff? Maybe I can find a box somewhere around here. Or maybe 10 boxes. Not exaggerating. Tru Dat!

**This morning The Only Child For A Week started laughing hysterically. When I asked why he said "My nose farted!" and proceeded to roll around laughing for another 2 minutes. Nose farts are funny. Tru Dat!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Vacation dreaming

We leave for Disney World in 12 days! The whole family is visibly thrumming with the energy of anticipation. We all have our reasons for being super excited. Here are some of mine:

1. The joy of getting away from it all. Going someplace that is clean and neat and where they take their job of making me happy very seriously is very appealing to a Summer Wife who spends a lot of her day taking care of others.
2. I've been there and I know what fun it is. I love experiencing the thrills of the rides and the amazing visual displays that they create. Walking through the various parks and just watching and seeing new things makes me very happy.
3. Time with my favorite people doing fun things. My family is tons of fun when we can get away, and this is the pinnacle of getting away.
4. New experiences. Lots of "new" on this trip. Traveling with the inlaws, long multiday drive, and then the destination itself. I love to try new things and this week will be chock full of it.
5. Can't wait to see the awe on my children's faces when they first walk into the parks. They've never seen anything like it and Disney is nothing if not visually stunning
6. I can't wait to see how the kids handle the long trip. They've never traveled farther than 4 hours, so crossing state lines and inventing fun car games is going to be interesting
7. Not cooking for 8 consecutive days.

Thinking about it like this makes the preparation process virtually painless. Almost.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The ball is rolling

I did it! I registered for Master's classes today. Yay!

And um, wow, how am I gonna pay for that? And when am I going to have time to study and do assignments? And who will take care of the house while I am pursuing higher education? Who will feed the kids? And will I ever get to use this degree?

Do you see that ball? It's rolling right for me and it's a very large ball! AHHHH!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


This blog has been viewed 4003 times! Wow!

Wait.. been working on it for 3 or 4 years. But I only have 5 followers and I'm pretty sure 2 of them are internet robot machines sent to find out my email address so they can send me penile enlargement advertisements. That means between my 3 readers and myself, we've accumulated 4003 views.  I'm pretty sure I can account for at least half of that. But it's nice to know someone else is reading what I write. Thanks, Mom! I'm sure my grandma, who was a writer of sorts, would be thrilled. And if not thrilled, because she was never, to my knowledge, "thrilled" with anything, mildly pleased that I was happy.

So yay for me and the mostly true tales of Willingham's World!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Summer Wife has been busy busy. After camp, we had VBS/VBX week. Nonstop fun! And this week I have embraced the Chill Technique made famous by college students and lazy folk everywhere. And it feels good. Chill Technique is basically just doing nothing except what is low key. Food gets cooked, clothes get washed (kinda), and books get read (a lot). No one fusses or hollers.  If you want to go do something, you do it. And no projects get worked on. That's for later. When the world stops spinning. The world is spinning mostly do to a clogged ear, soon to become infection if history is any indicator.

And in honor of my 4,000 page view, coming really soon, here is a pic of the boys and me at the VBS carnival.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Back from youth camp. No major scars to speak of. On my person anyway. My house got scarred by the storm that ran through town. I am now managing an insurance claim. Adjustor comes on Thursday. And I'm tired. And I have an earache. I turn into whiny baby with a plugged up, achy ear. Cuz it HURTS! So I find myself managing pain and an insurance claim. And children. I manage the spit out of those boys. It sometimes sounds like this:"Mommy has an earache and is about to start pacing like a mental patient so the invisible man will stop stabbing an ice pick into my eardrum, so you'll need to ask your father to help you open the bowl of fruit."

But I know this too shall pass. The house will get fixed. Eventually. The truck will get tires. Sooner rather than later. The ear pain will cease. I have medications. And skies will be blue once again. Birds will sing. Children will laugh. The Sun will shine. So tonight, I am  focusing on hiding from my current reality and will try again tomorrow.

PS. In case you think I am overly dramatic (and you could make a great case), this is a brief synopsis of the last few days.
Sat - return from week long youth camp culminating in 18 hr bus ride
Sun - celebrate Father's Day by picking up the kids and starting VBS/VBX week (one son goes morning, one goes evening)
Mon - get first good look at my house with half ripped up floors and tarped roof. Stay inside all day with sore throat and sinus headache. Run 2 loads of laundry
Tues - grocery shopping, pick up from VBS, afternoon nap during thunderstorm, mop up still leaking wall, dinner with friends, fast acting earache renders me worthless to humanity

Monday, June 4, 2012

Captain's Log
Summer 2012 - Day 1

In a curious and disturbing turn of events I awoke with a start at 0530 and smiled because I knew I could go back to sleep. At 05:45 I was silently cursing my internal alarm as I flipped and flopped attempting to regain sleeping status. At 0630, I was again awakened by the husband's alarm and happily fell back asleep. At 0740ish my husband wished me goodbye and happy first day of summer as he headed to The Job. I believe I detected a bit of envy in his tone, but the sleepies overtook me before I could determine the reality of that feeling. When I awoke again at 0900 it was time to face the world. I have already received one communication from The Workplace requesting that I come by to finish something that they had not had ready last week. I have a list of things to accomplish this day and hope that the list will get done so I can start reading a new book I have. I am off to conquer the list!

Monday, May 28, 2012


Well, maybe it started that way, as a dream, but doesn’t everything? –James (James and the Giant Peach)

This quote really made me think about what I'm dreaming about. Lately, it's been weirdo dreams; gigantic waves, mewling kittens, and one with pickle chips. I don't normally remember any of my dreams, but the last few days, they have stuck with me. But those aren't the dreams I am talking about.

What am I dreaming of doing/being/seeing/creating/being involved in? As a non-dreamer, more of a do-er this is hard for me. My practical side almost always takes over and the dream is disassembled and rated before it can fully form. I think that's why I am attracted to dreamers, people who think new thoughts and don't let reality interfere. They have always provided my starting point.

But that's not happening right now. I am in a place in life where I want what I am doing to be about what I need to do, not what I need to do to help others achieve their dreams. It's one of the reasons I am going back to school this fall (assuming acceptance happens). But my dreams need to be more than getting a degree. They need to help me fulfill my life mission. That life vision, God given track that shapes me into His vessel for use in His great plan.

And health is huge in this. I have a dream to be healthy and active and sassy and fun and able to keep up with my kids. This is gonna require some lifestyle changes that no longer involve the couch and a bag of snack mix. It's going to require that I plan more and organize better and direct the household activities more efficiently. And it seems like more than I can handle. Most days it seems that way. But I think that God has planted a dream in my heart to be more for Him and do more for others. And I can only do this if I am healthy and have more stamina than a newborn. The thought of facing the mountains in Glorietta in 2 weeks has shaken me a bit. Last year I couldn't make it up the mountain and through tears, I vowed to do better next year. Well, it's next year and I am in no better shape than I was last year. But I'm still going to try and make it up the mountain. Both literally and figuratively.

And here are some thinking poses of people cuter than I am.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Summer Wife: Myth or Fact?

There is a legend around town about the elusive beast known as Summer Wife. I think I hear her sometimes, from far away, pacing the floor, gnawing her fingernails, and generally acting anxious. I think she wants to come out of hiding and meet the world, but is being held prisoner by a force beyond her control. When she has been seen previously, the rumor is she smiles a lot, cooks healthy and delicious meals, has great skin with no circles under her eyes, is available for fun anytime, and laughs a lot. I hope to see her sometime soon. I hope I can learn her secrets. Summer Wife sounds like someone I would like to be around.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Some Mom Days are Better Than Others

As I saw the ground rising to meet me, I knew that it was going to leave a mark.  I just hoped that my glasses wouldn't break!

6 hours earlier...
Getting ready for a field trip as a Mom is so different than preparing as a teacher. Moms get to waltz in sometime before you leave with  a large cup of coffee and makeup well done. Moms get to help kids unpeel nametags with a crazy sticky adhesive without getting frustrated that they don't already know how to do this. Moms get to observe the teacher interactions passively with no dog in the fight. Moms get to go along for the ride without concerns about lunch, timing, late buses, poorly scheduled events. But most importantly, Moms on field trip day get to be a hero in the eyes of their kids and hear that sweet voice say, "Mom, will you sit with me on the bus because I just want to be by you?"

2 hours earlier...
Taking your child out to lunch is a luxury. Getting one on one time with that special someone is a rare treat to be savored, even if they want to eat someplace that is not diet friendly.

15 minutes before...
While riding bikes to the park in 90 degrees with 95% humidity is not really my idea of a good time, it is the most favored thing of my little guy. It is a sacrifice I willingly make to make this field trip day with Mom special and happy.

As I saw the ground rising to meet me, I knew that it was going to leave a mark. I just hoped that my glasses wouldn't break! It did and they didn't. Falling off my bike so ungracefully in front of my boy was a great lesson. That lesson was: only face plant off your bike in the neighbor's yard when everyone else is still at work. And who knew that riding too slowly close to the drain was so dangerous?? Crazy SuperMoon must be the culprit because I know gravity isn't suppose to work like that.

So I assume the soreness I feel tonight is somehow related to something that happened today, but for the life of me I can't figure out what!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Can't Keep Him Down!

You know that the Young One has been sick for a week. I've whined about it enough, all of FB knows! Well, he is better, no longer contagious and back at school today for the first time in a week. I got the following message from one of the 2nd grade teachers today:

I was trying to get Josh to slow down a little on the playground this afternoon cuz I knew he had been sick. When I asked if he wanted to take a break and go get some water since he had just recovered, he said "No thanks, I don't really know how I got sick, but it wasn't from playing outside!!" He was so sweet and sincere and it took everything I had to keep a straight face. Gotta love little boys!!!

I love his perspective on the world!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Not always sunshine and rainbows around here

What a day it has been! Son # 2 is still sporting a mystery fever and cough (day 6). I am out of days to be out at work, so it is getting docked from my paycheck everytime from now on. Son # 1 randomly decided to slap his brother in the face for not doing something he wanted. The dog peed all over my entryway. And my husband has to go back to work in 5 minutes after being home for a total of 1 hour and 22 minutes today. I'm getting cabin fever from being with a sick kid all weekend. We are back to teaching full curriculum at work since the testing week is over. That means that it'll be a week getting students back into the learning routine.

In honor of the crap day it has been, I am SO getting dinner out tonight. Although that means I'll have to put clothes on that are appropriate for public viewing.... small price to pay.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Weather that makes me go "Whoa!"

The weather this beautiful day was perfection.. light breeze.. mid 70's.. clear skies.. I just know this is what heaven is like.

So, the family and I took a little walk around The Woods. We trekked along the Waterway and through Market Street with a stop at Kirklands to buy some stuff on clearance. Then we made it to THE bookstore to just read for a bit. I was researching Disney guides for our trip this summer. The boys were.. um.. I have no idea what they were interested in. Just walking and laughing and enjoying the family was blissful.

I am so thankful for a family that likes to be together.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

And this week on "It's My Life"...

It has been a great week. I got to spend Easter with my parents! It has been years since we got to be together for this holiday. Just one of the prices of being a church staff family. Dad was supposed to pipe in the service, but a series of unfortunate music issues later, he didn't. I got to cook a big Easter dinner. I forgot all the hard work that goes into planning and prepping a meal like that. Whew!

By the time they headed home on Sun afternoon, I was pooped. The kids were hyped up on candy and I took a little nap on the couch.

School has been rough this week. Students are being naughty. Lots of fighting on the playground and talking in class at the totally wrong times. We are 2 weeks away from the big state test and we are reviewing and reading and hoping to activate their memories and build their vocabularies in time for others to see our hard work pay off. Because, let's face it, the goal is for the kids to learn stuff. But if they can do it where people can see it, even better.

And I'm tired. I find myself dreaming of the days of the cruise, with the wind blowing off the ocean and no one pestering me about losing their stuff. I find myself wanting to color, too. Yeah, color pictures. I have some amazing cool coloring pages that just came in and I can't wait to try them out. I just have to make master copies first.

But mostly I want a nap. And time to paint my nails. And someone to organize my closet. And someone to wash the laundry. And I want to find some really cute summer clothes because I really hate what I have to wear right now. And if they could be free, that would be great!

And on a happy note, today is the 100th day of my read through the Bible in a year plan and I am still all caught up! The psalms today were awesome. It was a great way to start my day.

I think I'm off to finish off that Easter dessert I made. MMMMM. It was yummy. I know you are jealous now. You can find the recipe on my Pinterest board and make it yourself. It was really easy.

And that's my life this week.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Monthly update?

It has been way too long since I shared anything. The rhythm of my life is just like that right now. The boys are getting all grown up and say less cute stuff and do a lot more eye rolling and arguing. So I could tell you about the time I told them to "talk it out and remember you will be best friends when you are older" or "stop fussing before I take away your video games." That was quickly followed by "So, I guess you are both ready to get grounded?Becuase that is what this argument sounds like to me. You say He made you mad. I heard "Mom, please make sure I have no fun for at least a week" Funny how that works.

Work is work. Everyday. And not the fun work kind of work with laughter and a sense of Job-Well-Done. More the It-Is Impossible-to-Teach-Children-Who-Don't-Try-To-Learn kind of work. Oh, and there will be a test in a month to prove that even though I am a great teacher, it is a student choice to learn or not.

I'm reading the book of Judges this week in my Bible reading, so maybe I'm a little pessimistic about things. If I could talk to the Israelites of history, I would sound just like my grandmother. With smoker's gravel in my throat, I would lecture, "Well, if you would just do it the right way, you wouldn't get dead, now would you?" (In her defense, she never actually said that to my knowledge, but I could see her thinking it.)

On a happy note, I've decided to become a student again! Yep, I filled out my online application to join the Master's Program at Sam Houston State for Library Science. Hopefully I will start this August. I forgot about the butt load of paper work it takes to get into school. And money.. wow! Application fee, GRE testing fee, transcript fee.. and I haven't even registered for classes!

You, both of you, might be wondering why, after all these years, I would want to go back to school. It's because I want options. I want to be able to do something other than teach that still works with kids. And I want to love what I do. I love books. I love sharing books with others. I love the beep of checking in books. I love seeing the smiles of anticipation when kids get the book they were looking and waiting for. I have always said that I would teach until I couldn't. Whether that was for age, health, or moral reasons, I knew the time would come. It's not here yet, but I need to be prepared. And I might just be ready for some new adventures. After 17 years in the classroom, I think I might be exhausting my limit of dealing with the day to day junk that comes with raising other people's kids.

So, that is the month in review. I hope I get back to you sooner next time.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

8 Years Already?

Eight years ago, I was planning on going to my baby shower. Eight years ago, I thought I had a month left. Eight years ago, my sweet boy came early and has kept surprising me ever since. He walked early. He talked early. And he has been a snuggle bug since birth.

Josh is quiet as a ninja when he is up to something. He can sneak away from the family when we bore him and we don't even realize it. He laughs with abandon. He is wicked funny and can connect seemingly unrelated things in ways that make me think "Huh, I never thought of it that way." He cares for others deeply and is most likely the most empathetic person in the family. Whether it's offering his money to his brother to help him buy something or just laying his head on my shoulder after a long day, he offers love tangibly to all around him.

This year, my Josh has changed a lot. He is more outspoken and loves Power Rangers. Power Rangers? Yeah, last year he didn't even know they existed. He is taller and his face is lengthening. He has an older look of wisdom now that comes from a year of learning and living and growing more independent. He continues to love the Lord and share insight from Bible reading and then application when it comes. He is never too shy to ask the hard questions. He just doesn't realize that most 7 year olds don't think about "Why did God not just kill Satan instead of letting him mess with us?" He is growing up deep in thought, this one is.

So happy birthday, my baby boy. You are my laughter, my joy and a delight to my soul.